7 Best Portable Grills (2020): Charcoal, Propane, Infrared

The downside is it can get too hot. It’s difficult to do anything but sear. Turning it down means the flame, which is tiny to begin with, tends to get blown out by the slightest breeze. This is a problem with infrared in general, not just the X200. I had the same problem with the Solaire option mentioned below. Still, despite that flaw, infrared will spoil you. Want to grill some veggies a few minutes before dinner is supposed to be done? With the X200, that’s no problem.

Char-Broil Grill2Go X200 costs $129 at Amazon and $163 at Walmart

Alternative: The Solaire Anywhere Grill costs $469 at Amazon. I enjoyed this grill. Its ceramic heating surface works much better than the X200’s metal surface, but even a slight breeze from the front can blow out the burners, and because the infrared flame is so small to begin with you might not notice that your flame is gone. I liked everything else about the Solaire, but it’s a tough sell at this price.

6. Best Grill on Wheels

Coleman Roadtrip 285 Portable Grill ($250)

The Coleman Roadtrip 285 is similar to the Roadtrip 225 above, but it’s freestanding and easier to move around thanks to the wheeled dolly system. The included stand also frees up some space on the picnic table, making this a nice choice for larger gatherings.

The inside of the Roadtrip 285 is rather different than the 225. Here there are three interwoven burners, each with their own knob for fine-grained temperature control. There are two outer burners, left and right, and then one inner burner running between them. I most often used all three at once to produce a high-temperature sear, then backed it off and let the outer burners finish cooking.

There’s a grease pan that you can slide out the back for easy cleaning, and a thermometer on the lid monitors your cooking temperatures. There’s a nice griddle accessory as well, which I used to make pancakes for a crowd.

Coleman Roadtrip 285 Portable costs $250 at Amazon and Walmart

7. Best Big Green Egg

Big Green Egg MiniMax ($599)

Big Green Eggs are indeed big. Even the smaller MiniMax Big Green Egg I tested isn’t terribly portable, but if you want to smoke, grill, and bake outdoors, this ceramic cooker is a strong choice.

The Big Green Egg is a Kamado-style cooker (Kamado is Japanese word that roughly means “stove”), which really makes it much more than a grill. The ceramic construction retains heat and turns it into a portable oven as well. The MiniMax Big Green Egg is identical to its larger cousin in nearly every way, it’s just smaller. It weighs 75 pounds, making it by the far the heaviest grill I tested, but the double-handle carrying system makes it easy for two people to lift it around. The problem is that the 13-inch grilling surface of the MiniMax can really only grill for about four people.

It’s big enough to roast a chicken, sear a couple of large steaks at a time, or fit about six 12-inch skewers. But if you’re doing meat and veggies for a family of four, you’re going to be cooking in batches. In practice this isn’t so bad. Most meats need to rest when they’re done cooking anyway, giving you time to do your veggies. In my testing the Mini Big Green Egg had excellent heat control and, like the larger version, is extremely fuel efficient.

Big Green Egg’s MiniMax costs $599 and can only be purchased in retail stores, including [Ace Hardware].(https://www.acehardware.com/big-green-egg){: rel=nofollow} You can find a local store that carries the MiniMax here

Testing Methods

The terms grilling and barbecue are often used interchangeably, which is fine, but if you get serious about cooking over flame you’ll want to learn the distinction. Grilling usually means cooking directly over high heat, while barbecue typically refers to cooking over indirect heat for longer periods of time. You grill steak. You barbecue ribs.

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